After falling out of the opening round Thursday night, Smith exited the venue by telling ESPN’s Suzy Kolber he would not be back the next night, a move that was widely panned.
At a time when quarterback Geno Smith has faced harsh criticism regarding his ability to handle adversity, Smith isn’t handling adversity well. Specifically, the game that is the NFL draft isn’t going the way he expected, so Smith plans to take his bat and ball and go home. — Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
There are some reports that Smith’s initial decision to leave New York was based more on logistics — flight changes and hotel reservations — than sour grapes, though that could be spin control by his agent. Whatever the reason, Smith can only bolster his image by attending tonight and manning up to the disappointment of the previous 24 hours.
His dramatic tumble out of the first round, after some mock drafts had him targeted at No. 6 overall by Cleveland, may seem like Nolan Nawrocki’s revenge right now, but Smith should still earn somewhere around $5 million over his first three years in the league. Then it’s up to him to show his skills, win games and maximize a more lucrative second contract.
Second-round quarterbacks are hardly scrap-heap talents: witness Drew Brees, Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton. Of course, last season’s breakout star Russell Wilson was a third-rounder.
Not that mock drafts are to be trusted — Thursday night was the latest episode in how such guesswork can go awry — but ESPN/Scout Inc. projects Smith as the first player chosen in the second round by Jacksonville (No. 33 overall). Mel Kiper forecasts Smith going to Philadelphia at No. 35 and joining offensive mastermind Chip Kelly.
By the way, Smith reportedly will be the only first-night player lingering in the green room for a second evening, so why not laugh off that which he cannot control by holding up a cardboard sign “Will pass for food.”